2024 Abstracts

Changes in Inundation Drive Carbon Dioxide and Methane Fluxes in a Temperate Wetland


Erin Hassett1* (erhasset@syr.edu), Lauren Kinsman-Costello2, Yvette Onyango3, Talia Pope2, Chelsea Smith2, Justine Missik3, Erin Eberhard2, Jorge Villa4, Steven McMurray5, Tim Morin1, Lauren Kinsman-Costello2


1SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY; 2Kent State University, Kent, OH; 3Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; 4University of Louisiana−Lafayette, LA; 5Old Woman Creek NERR, Huron, OH


Wetlands cycle carbon by being net sinks for carbon dioxide (CO2) and net sources of methane (CH4). Daily and seasonal temporal patterns, dissolved oxygen (DO) availability, inundation status (flooded, dry, or partially flooded), water depth, and vegetation can affect the magnitude of carbon uptake or emissions, but the extent and interactive effects of these variables on carbon gas fluxes are poorly understood. Researchers characterized the linkages between carbon fluxes and these environmental and temporal drivers at the Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve (OWC), OH. The team measured diurnal gas flux patterns in an upstream side channel (called the cove) using chamber measurements at six sites (three vegetated and three nonvegetated). Researchers sampled hourly from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and monthly from July to October 2022. DO concentrations and water levels were measured monthly. Water inundation status had the most influential effect on carbon fluxes with flooded conditions supporting higher CH4 fluxes (0.39 μmol CH4 m−2 s−1;−1.23 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1) and drier conditions supporting higher CO2 fluxes (0.03 μmol CH4 m−2 s−1; 0.86 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1). When flooded, the wetland was a net CO2 sink; however, it became a source for both CH4 and CO2 when water levels were low. Researchers compared chamber-based gas fluxes from the cove in flooded (July) and dry (August) months to fluxes measured with an eddy covariance tower whose footprint covers flooded portions of the wetland. The diurnal pattern of carbon fluxes at the tower did not vary with changing water levels but remained a CO2 sink and a CH4 source even when the cove where researchers performed the chamber measurements dried out. These results emphasize the role of inundation status on wetland carbon cycling and highlight the importance of fluctuating hydrologic patterns, especially hydrologic drawdowns, under changing climatic conditions.